Irrigation and the Challenge of Water Loss in a Hot Climate

Dubai has struggled for many years with the ever decreasing supply of water both in terms of drinking water, the drying out of rivers and lowering groundwater levels which has driven government investment into desalinisation.  In addition, with lack of water resources for plants and crop growth, it is no wonder that residents and businesses have turned to the use of irrigation systems as a form of management.If designed and fitted well, these miles of plastic pipe carry much needed water to community parks, gardens, crops and plants and would normally be in the form of water droplets onto individual plants or a spray type system.  However, with the regular occurrence of soaring temperatures, spray irrigation has become less favourable with the water often evaporating before or just after it hits the ground.

A newer system being used more recently is an underground system, consisting of pipes being laid in gravel about 60cm below the surface, underneath the vegetation.   At planned locations, holes are made into the pipes allowing water to flow out in a controlled fashion into the gravel and directly reach the plant roots, without soil and other dirt getting into the irrigation pipes.  This cuts water usage by about three quarters for an average plot size.

However, the problem is, how can you tell if there are unplanned leaks in the pipes?

There are some common indicators which may highlight a potential issue:

  • An area being boggier than others with puddles forming.
  • Animals or birds congregating around particular areas indicating above ground access to a supply of water.
  • Your crops – are there parts where crops or plants look healthier than others indicating a lack of water supply due to leaks.

But……even if you can locate these indicators it does not identify exactly where the problem is or if there is more than one.

Luckily there are now ways in which leaks and problems can be detected from above ground, and resolved, which would be at a far lower cost compared to ruining a well-established crop by having to dig up a whole irrigation system!

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!

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